to speak or think favorably of; pronounce or consider agreeable or good; judge favorably:
to approve the policies of the administration.
to consent or agree to:
Father approved our plan to visit Chicago.
to confirm or sanction formally; ratify:
The Senate promptly approved the bill.

to demonstrate; show.
to make good; attest.
to prove by trial.
to convict.

to speak or consider favorably (sometimes followed by of):
Mother didn’t approve of him. The boss wouldn’t approve of the plan. He said that he approved.
Contemporary Examples

As a result, no medication is actually FDA approved to treat depression for the pre-K set.
When Children Commit Suicide Sara Reistad-Long September 1, 2009

Wilson fervently supported Prop 187, which was approved by voters the same day he was approved for another term as governor.
Inside California’s Crazy Race To Be The GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Olivia Nuzzi May 29, 2014

Wright approved one of the wells after the operator agreed to bring it into compliance, according to the letter.
Two Texas Regulators Tried to Enforce the Rules. They Were Fired. David Hasemyer, InsideClimate News December 8, 2014

After doing her research, she decides to continue taking an approved antidepressant while pregnant with her fourth child.
Who’s a Bad Mother? Susan Cheever May 3, 2009

Dozens have been approved for release off the island but are still held there.
Terry Carrico, Ex-Guantánamo Prison Commander, Says Facility Should Close Aram Roston January 5, 2012

Historical Examples

Dr. Knox approved of its being so fresh, but did not ask any questions.
The History of Burke and Hare George Mac Gregor

Before he returned to much of what he had once approved, he died.
The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. in Nine Volumes Samuel Johnson

If they are approved, they shall be signed at once by the President.
The History of Cuba, vol. 4 Willis Fletcher Johnson

Billy approved of the way in which his sister had managed matters.
The Opal Serpent Fergus Hume

But he had acted rightly, Father O’Grady had approved of what he had done; and this was his reward.
The Lake George Moore

when intr, often foll by of. to consider fair, good, or right; commend (a person or thing)
(transitive) to authorize or sanction
(transitive) (obsolete) to demonstrate or prove by trial
(transitive) (law) to improve or increase the value of (waste or common land), as by enclosure

c.1300, “to demonstrate, prove;” mid-14c., “to attest (something) with authority,” from Old French aprover (Modern French approuver) “approve, agree to,” from Latin approbare “to assent to as good, regard as good,” from ad- “to” (see ad-) + probare “to try, test something (to find if it is good),” from probus “honest, genuine” (see prove).

The meaning extended late 14c. to “to sanction, endorse, confirm formally” then to “assent to (something) as good” (early 15c.), especially in reference to the actions of authorities, parliaments, etc. Related: Approved; approving.


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